Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Finding Nimo

It began like any other Saturday except this one had that anticipation of Christmas. You know the feeling you had when you were a kid and you knew that Santa was on his way with his bag of toys. This toy was an 65 inch HDTV. And it was being delivered in just a few hours. My plan was to tune in the satellite, run my new cabling and have everything set up and ready for my HD Jumbotron. I would be watching the hockey game in HD splendor before the end of the day and wait a minute, there was a full day of HD racing tomorrow, oh boy this would be good.
I felt I deserved this reward as I had just completed re seeding my lawn 2 weeks before. It had been the hottest day of the year and I moved 14.5 yards of soil in one day, rolled it, raked it and planted seed. It gave me the worst sunburn of my life and a back ache not seen since I donned the "Back Breaker" Steady Cam rig several weeks ago.
By now I was looking with pride at my new lawn, still too short to give it it's first cut and yet so green. Yes, a mind numbing 65 inches of HD heaven was just what would make any TV junky happy.
I have had an ExpressVu dish for several years and being somewhat familiar with finding Satellites in the "Clark Belt", acquisition should not pose any problem for my timeline. When I bought my new HD dish I of course declined the 70 dollar installation fee. Yes, I am a TV guy why would I spend the 70 when I can do it myself. Hell I can read a manual.
So on that morning of anticipation, I gathered my tools and went about my quest for HD. I replace my existing dish with the new fangled gymbled wonder dish. This baby can tune in both Satellites at the same time. I followed the manual, things were looking good. I had my little TV monitor hooked into my old tuner out by the ladder with me. As the neighbours went out for their walks on that morning, they would comment about the lawn and ask about what I was up to. "Well you must know what you are doing, I wouldn't even begin to try" one neighbour said. They see me in the CTV truck on occasion. "Yes, the satellite is right there" as I point to the southern horizon. "I should have it in a couple of minutes"
I found Nimiq "91" in about 2 minutes. I still had it, I thought. Another walking neighbour: "hey Mur, do you install these things?"
"Not usually, I'm a Camera guy, but I have worked in the SAT Truck"
I had already adjusted the "skew" angle according to the manual so as to "acquire" the second satellite, so it must be all good right?
Just then a truck pulls up and it's here. Oh boy, this would be good. I would be the envy of the free world. Murman, his new Multiplex HD and he saved 70 bucks by doing the install work himself. Is there anything he can't do???

When I hook up the new wonder box to the wires, I figure I am moments away from calling that toll free number to get my HD package. I am giddy with excitement.
"hmm, this doesn't look good." I double check my cables. It turns out I have a switch that needs 4 input wires not the 2 I have installed. Damn, I'll have to go to the Depot and grab another spool of R Cable. I was there earlier to pick up 50 feet and some connectors. I drill more holes, I run more cable. "Switch Test Complete" the screen reads. OK we're in business.
"Nimiq 82 No Signal"
What the %&*!
OK back up the ladder, re read the compass, re acquire Nimiq 91, this time with a 92% signal. Ok this has to be good.
By now the first Neighbours are returning from their walk, I'm still up on a ladder, playing with the dish.
"No luck?" she asks.
It's there, I'm just fine tuning I say.

Back down the ladder, still no luck with Nimiq 82. Nimiq 82 has all of the HD programming. This is not good.
The hockey game is starting. I'm still up the ladder. I call my buddy Dave. He's like the CTV Satellite YODA, he'll know what to do. But wait, he's the guy that told me I should only have to wire two inputs to the switch, remember, the switch that needs four wires. "Have you got 91?"
"Then 82 is just to the left and about 4 degrees lower in the sky."
I look, I scan, I fail.
Call tech support. They basically tell me the same thing.
Back up the ladder. It's getting dark now. The walkers are out now for their evening walk. I'm still up the ladder.
I am sure they are thinking that this guy is an idiot. He must just "play" a guy who's in TV.
I finally come down, feeling defeated. I am reduced to, watching a DVD on my new colossus. It's not HD, and it leaves me feeling cheated. I miss the hockey game.

Sunday: I am again up the ladder. Bob and Jane are out walking. They again complement me on my new grass. I think that they are either too afraid or too polite to ask about my current project.
They return later to find me now hacking down branches from my front tree. My new lawn now with a worn path from the garage to the ladder, tree branches, leaves everywhere. All this to save 70 bucks. Goddamn, now I am pissed.
This has got to be it, the branches must have been hiding the look angle to the that HD beacon in the sky.
I return to my second home, up on my ladder. I curse at the dish. Again, no Nimiq 82. Did the Russians shoot the goddamn thing out of the sky. Has it been hit by some sort of space junk?
Again day turns to night, Nimiq still has it's cloaking device on. Bob and Jane are again out walking. I am sure that they are expecting to see me hanging from my Sat dish, lifeless. Now they are avoiding eye contact. Just as well. Better not talk to the crazy man trying to save 70 bucks.

New TV: 5000 dollars.
Cost of Installation of Sat System: 70 dollars
Cost of Wiring that would have been included in 70 dollar installation :110 dollars

Finding Nimiq: PRICELESS


marybill said...

i have a dual lnb...one goes to one tv and the other splits and goes to two....the two do not always get all the channels...ie weak signal ...what should I do?

Murman said...


All outputs from the LNB should first go to an eletronic switch that was supplied with your dish. Your switch could be bad.
You may have to "peak tune" the dish.
Also check to make sure the LNB is clear of water droplets or snow. That too could cause you a problem.

Good luck and if you have any further questions I would glad to try and help